How do you create a sequel film centered on a character who dies at the end of the first movie? Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe tried to do just that in 2006 when they enlisted the help of musician, author and screenwriter Nick Cave to write a scipt for Gladiator 2. DreamWorks had other ideas, though. They wanted to push forward with a spin-off that focused on Lucius — originally played by Spencer Treat Clark — the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and grandson of Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). It would be revealed that the heroic Maximus (Crowe) was Lucius' father (his son with Lucilla). It varied greatly from Cave's script, which brought Maximus back from the dead.
Cave's version indicated that Maximus would become reincarnated by the Roman gods, defend the Christians against death by the emperor's forces, fight wars throughout time (including World War II and Vietnam), and eventually make his way to the Pentagon as a general. "Russell didn’t want to let it go, obviously, because it worked very well," Ridley Scott said about the project in a 2009 interview. "I mean, when I say 'worked very well,' I don’t refer to success. I mean, as a piece it works very well… Storytelling, [it] works brilliantly. I think Cave enjoyed doing it and I think it was one of those things that he thought, well, maybe there’s a sequel where we can adjust the fantasy and bring him back from the dead…"
Although Crowe and Scott enjoyed Cave's treatment, the script was rejected for being too over the top. A copy of Cave's writing is available online. It sounds like an odd spin-off for the Gladiator storyline, but as a stand-alone project, we're quite curious, and Cave is always an eloquent scribe. See what you make of the fantasy version of Gladiator, and tell us if you're pining for more bloody battles with the valiant Maximus. [via GeekTyrant]